The Pontifical Academy of Martyrs (Pontificia Academia Cultorum Martyrum, originally Collegium Cultorum Martyrum) is one of the ten Pontifical Academies established by the Holy See. It serves to advance the cult of saints and martyrs and the study of related early Christian history,including the catacombs. It operates with guidance and support from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Roman Curia.
The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, refers to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholics around the world. As a sovereign entity, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, and exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy, of which the pope is sovereign. It is organized into polities of the Latin Church and the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, and their dioceses and religious institutes.
A Christian martyr is a person who is killed because of their testimony of Jesus. In years of the early church, this often occurred through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. The word "martyr" comes from the Koine word μάρτυς, mártys, which means "witness" or "testimony".
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religious system of beliefs and practices based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament.
The Academy was established on 2 February 1879 by four distinguished scholars of sacred antiquity – Mariano Armellini, Adolfo Hytreck, Orazio Marucchi, and Enrico Stevenson – and the Papal Academy, in conjunction with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Mariano Armellini was an Italian archaeologist and historian. Born in Rome, he was one of the founders of the Pontifical Academy of Martyrs.
Orazio Marucchi was an Italian archaeologist and author of the Manual of Christian Archaeology. He served as Professor of Christian Archaeology at the University of Rome and director of the Christian and Egyptian museums at the Vatican Museums. He was also a member of the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology and was a scrittore of the Vatican Library.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is the congregation of the Roman Curia that handles most affairs relating to liturgical practices of the Latin Church as distinct from the Eastern Catholic Churches and also some technical matters relating to the Sacraments. Its functions were originally exercised by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, set up in January 1588 by Pope Sixtus V.
The Academy is tasked with promoting the cult of the holy martyrs and increasing, through study, knowledge of the saints, including their example as "witnesses of the Faith".
It is also responsible for the monuments to these saints from the first centuries of Christianity, including the catacombs beneath Rome. The Academy organises and promotes celebrations of ancient Christian cemeteries, the catacombs, and other sacred places, as well as religious functions and archaeological conferences. To this end it works closely with the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology.
Catacombs are human-made subterranean passageways for religious practice. Any chamber used as a burial place is a catacomb, although the word is most commonly associated with the Roman Empire.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
The Pontifical Academy of Archaeology is an academic honorary society established in Rome by the Catholic Church for the advancement of Christian archaeological study. It is one of the ten such Pontifical Academies established by the Holy See.
The Academy holds at least two general meetings each year, close to the Papal Institute of Christian Archaeology and the Collegio Teutonico in The Vatican.
In parliamentary law, a mass meeting is a type of deliberative assembly, which in a publicized or selectively distributed notice known as the call of the meeting - has been announced:
The Collegio Teutonico, historically often referred to by its Latin name Collegium Germanicum, is one of the Pontifical Colleges of Rome. It was established in 1399 and maintained at the Vatican for the education of future ecclesiastics of the Catholic Church of German nationality. The German College is now divided into two separate colleges.
Vatican City, officially Vatican City State, is an independent city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. Established with the Lateran Treaty (1929), it is distinct from yet under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See. With an area of 44 hectares, and a population of about 1,000, it is the smallest sovereign state in the world by both area and population.
The Papal Academy "Cultorum Martyrum" supports also, during Lent, the unwinding of the ritual stand in honour of Carlo Respighi, Magister from 1931 until 1947.
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and denial of ego. This event is observed in the Anglican, Baptist, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic Churches. Some Anabaptist and evangelical churches also observe the Lenten season.
The Academy consists of "Sodales" and "Associates" of both sexes. At the age of 80 a Sodales becomes an "Emeritus". Cardinal or Bishop Sodales are appointed "Defences".
The title of the Academy's administrator is "Magister", an office appointed (and renewed) by the Pope. The Magister, in accordance with the Academy's "Guiding Advice", can collaborate with other Pontifical Academies which have business related to a particular martyr's sanctuary. Its current "Magister" is Fabrizio Bisconti.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope’s name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular Churches and provides the central organization for the Church to advance its objectives.
The Catacombs of Rome are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, people of all the Roman religions are buried in them, beginning in the 2nd century AD, mainly as a response to overcrowding and shortage of land. The Etruscans, like many other European peoples, used to bury their dead in underground chambers. The original Roman custom was cremation, after which the burnt remains were kept in a pot, ash-chest or urn, often in a columbarium. From about the 2nd century AD, inhumation became more fashionable, in graves or sarcophagi, often elaborately carved, for those who could afford them. Christians also preferred burial to cremation because of their belief in bodily resurrection at the Second Coming. The Park of the Caffarella and Colli Albani are nearby.
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A dicastery is a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Roman Catholic Church. The most recent comprehensive constitution of the church, Pastor bonus (1988), includes this definition:
By the word "dicasteries" are understood the Secretariat of State, Congregations, Tribunals, Councils and Offices, namely, the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
Indult Catholic was a traditionalist Catholic loaded term used from the early 21st century until 2007 as a pejorative label applied to Catholics who attended only the licit celebrations of the Tridentine Mass in Latin according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal and regulated by the local bishop through an indult that conformed to the 1984 Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments norms in the ecclesiastical letter Quattuor abhinc annos.
A pontifical academy is an academic honorary society established by or under the direction of the Holy See. Some were in existence well before they were accepted as "Pontifical."
Antonio Cañizares Llovera is a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who is the Archbishop of Valencia. He is the former Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2008 to 2014, and former Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain from 2002 to 2008. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006. He was appointed Archbishop of Valencia in August 2014, a move which removed him from the Congregation.
A canonical coronation is a pious institutional act of the Pope, duly expressed in a Papal bull in which oftentimes a Papal legate or Papal nuncio, or at rare occasions the Pontiff himself designates a crown, tiara, or stellar halo to a Christological, Marian, or Josephian image with a specific devotional title that is prominently venerated in a particular diocese or locality.
Virgilio Noè was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and cardinal. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1991.
Antonio Innocenti was a Cardinal who was the lead figure of the Roman Curia and the Vatican diplomatic service for many years. He was born at Poppi, Italy.
Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, often known simply as Malcolm Ranjith or Albert Malcolm Ranjith, is a Sri Lankan cardinal of the Catholic Church. He is the ninth and current Archbishop of Colombo, serving since 2009. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2010.
The Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology is an official board of the Vatican founded in 1852 by Pope Pius IX for the purpose of promoting and directing excavations in the Catacombs of Rome and on other sites of Christian antiquarian interest, and of safeguarding the objects found during such excavations. In 1925, Pope Pius XI declared that the Commission was Pontifical and its competencies were defined in detail and reaffirmed recently in the conventions between the Holy See and the Italian State.
Angelo Amato, S.D.B. is an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints between 2008 and 2018. He served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2002 to 2008 and became a cardinal in 2010.
Pope Paul VI's reform of the Roman Curia was accomplished through a series of decrees beginning in 1964, principally through the apostolic constitution Regimini Ecclesiae universae issued on 15 August 1967.
The Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters of the Virtuosi al Pantheon is one of the Pontifical Academies under the direction of the Holy See. The complete Italian name of the academy, Pontificia Insigne Accademia di Belle Arti e Letteratura dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, includes the adjective insigne (illustrious), often omitted in official English translations. The term Virtuosi al Pantheon is also usually left untranslated, but, in any event, should not be taken in the English musical sense of “virtuoso” but rather “artists of great merit”. The Pantheon in Rome was the historical home of the academy. The term “academy” is meant in the Renaissance definition of the term as an association of learned persons and not an institution of instruction.
The history of the Roman Curia, the administrative apparatus responsible for managing the affairs of the Holy See and the Catholic Church, can be traced to the 11th century when informal methods of administration began to take on a more organized structure and eventual a bureaucratic form. The Curia has undergone a series of renewals and reforms, including a major overhaul following the loss of the Papal States, which fundamentally altered the range and nature of the Curia's responsibilities, removing many of an entirely secular nature.
Joseph Augustine Di Noia is an American member of the Dominican Order who is a Roman Catholic archbishop and theologian. He is a prominent member of the Roman Curia, becoming successively Under-Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. On September 21, 2013, Pope Francis transferred him from his post as Vice President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and named him Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Giuseppe Casoria was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship from 1981 to 1984, and elevated to the cardinalate in 1983.